Review: Norah Jones, ‘… Featuring’

Review: Norah Jones, ‘… Featuring’: Aidin Vaziri | For those who find Norah Jones terminally boring, here’s one more chance to get on board. This Blue Note compilation offers a taste of the stuff the 31-year-old Brooklyn jazz singer was doing on the side for fun while she sold those 40 million MOR solo albums over the past decade. “… Featuring” is unbelievably diverse, featuring collaborations with everyone from the Foo Fighters and Q-Tip to Dolly Parton and Herbie Hancock – a testament to Jones’ easy-to-love appeal. She keeps her cool throughout, whether delivering a knockout cover of Roxy Music’s “More Than This” with Charlie Hunter or going country alongside surly rocker Ryan Adams on the mournful “Dear John.” One of the most recent recordings is a song by the twee Scottish pop group Belle and Sebastian called “Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John,” wherein Jones’ soulful voice feels like a bolt of lighting when it breaks through the gentle jangle. Bafflingly, a majority of her best extracurricular work was left out. Where’s Wax Poetic’s thrilling down-tempo staple, “Angels”? How about Peeping Tom’s creepy, expletive-laced “Sucker”? And what dumb executive green-lighted this without the inclusion of the Elmo duet, “Don’t Know Y”? There better be a Vol. 2.


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